I have a niece named Rose. She is three. And she recently taught me a wonderful lesson about persistent prayer.
You see, Rose is what you might call a chatterbox. More accurately, she is a laser-focused chatterbox. I have never met a child who knows more clearly what she wants and advocates incessantly to get it. As an example, this past summer Rose came to visit while we put on a youth football camp. At the end of each session, each camper got a popsicle. And Miss Rose wanted a popsicle. Specifically, she wanted a blue popsicle.
“Aunt Anne? May I have a blue popsicle?”
“Aunt Anne? I want a blue popsicle.”
“Aunt Anne? Is it time for popsicles? I want a blue one.”
The problem with the popsicle situation was that I had to make sure each camper had one before I could get one to her. It was never a question of if I was going to provide for her, it was simply a matter of when. And so it continued…
“Aunt Anne? Did everybody get their popsicles?”
“Aunt Anne? You promised me a popsicle.”
“Aunt Anne? I’m ready for my blue popsicle.”
As I tell the story, it feels like the kind of situation where you could get really irritated with little Rose. But that day, something was different about how she was asking. Rather than panicking about what she wanted (which I have certainly seen her do), this time she was calm. She was not asking out of fear. Instead, she seemed to be asking from a position of trust. She knew I was the holder of the popsicle and had the power to give it to her. And, she knew she could not get it herself. Although the promise had not yet arrived, she kept asking, confidently believing it was coming.
Rose’s approach that day challenged how I think about approaching God with requests. Her persistence was high. Her inhibitions were low. And her confidence? It was absolutely unshakable. That, I thought, is what it looks like to pray with “faith like a child.”
My dear friends, my invitation today is to resist the urge to “adult” so much in our prayer lives. Frankly, sometimes we just think too much. Rather than worrying about whether we are asking too much or too often, may we instead throw off our inhibitions and “approach the throne of grace with confidence” as often as we need (Hebrews 4:16, NIV). Remember, asking of God is not pestering Him, it is honoring Him. Admitting that which we cannot do on our own is worship.
So, keep coming to Him. No matter how many times you make a request, it is never too many. In fact, sometimes our greatest act of faith is continuing to ask, having “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV).
Remember, child of God, He loves to hear from you.
“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'” Matthew 19:14, NIV
“Be persistent in prayer, and keep alert as you pray, giving thanks to God.” Colossians 4:2, GNT